The Vancouver Canucks have officially signed 25-year-old winger Anton Rodin to a one-year, one-way contract.
The contract is for $950,000 and begins next season.
The former 2009 second round pick has missed the past six weeks of action due to suffering a skate cut injury in practice in Sweden. At the time, he was leading the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) in points and assists. He made such an impact that despite missing the final 17 games of the regular season, he still won the Gold Helmet Award as the SHL’s MVP.
He finished the season as the only player in the entire SHL to be above 1.0 points per game, and was second in average time on ice per game among forwards.
Rodin previously played two seasons for the Canucks AHL affiliate, Chicago Wolves, and amassed 14 goals and 27 assists in 111 total games. He struggled at times to compete in the AHL due to his slight frame and as result he suffered a few injuries. He returned to Sweden for the 2013-14 season.
At the time, former GM Mike Gillis provided Rodin with a qualifying offer to ensure that if he did return to North America before he was 27 that the Canucks would hold his exclusive NHL rights.
That shrewd move has paid off as Rodin has seen a growth in his game and looks poised to have success on his second go around in North America. Previously there was criticism that Rodin didn’t want to go the dirty areas to make plays, but he has added that to his repertoire over the past three years in Sweden.
The 5’11”, 181-pound winger no longer shies away from the front of the net or the corners, but instead uses his acceleration and puck-handling to get himself out of trouble.
The Stockholm native possesses an NHL calibre shot and skating, so although the same production that he saw in Sweden is likely unattainable, he should still be able to be a serviceable depth player.
A key part to this deal is that it is a one-way, so although it doesn’t prevent the Canucks from sending Rodin to the AHL, it gives the Swedish winger some financial security.
It may also force the Canucks to give Rodin some more opportunities as they will have to pay him the same amount in the NHL or AHL. With that being said, it’s fair to assume that Rodin will stick with the big club, at least to start, next year.
Expect Rodin to play with one of Brandon Sutter or Bo Horvat next season, with hopes of providing some secondary scoring to support the Sedin twins.